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age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

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trevor machine
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age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by trevor machine on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 4:57 pm

So today it was fine and having not been out on the 500 I wrote off (then brought back from the grave) for about 6 weeks or more I thought right, let's get the bugger rolling and up to temp, blast it around for a few hours, etc.

Now, this is the later disc version. Nice bike - feeling fresh and frisky today. Eager to rev and happy to be ridden again. But bloody hell I don't rate that back brake much. I've got braided, I've got decent organic pads, it's well-adjusted (not much travel at all). However, the older bike's drum is in my view significantly better - yes, there's a lot more travel, and yes, when it's been stood for a little while it can be quite grabby. And yet I still think it's a better mechanism - fans of the drum regularly talk of "feel" (and I understand and agree with that). But I simply think it stops the bike better. Yes I know many riders will say it's better to think of - and indeed use - the rear more as a steadying brake for slower manoeuvres and such like. Fine, okay yeah. Yet I think the rear brake on the CB500 should probably get more use than that - after all, the front has only a single rotor, and a not overly large one at that. Plus also that Nissin calliper is perfectly adequate - but it's far from amazing. So I personally prefer to use both brakes, even if the lion's share of taking speed off is done with the front.

I dunno. I was just surprised by how lack-lustre the rear disc was on this other bike. I love the front Brembo - that's great. But my ideal would be the Brembo up front, and the old drum at back.

sullivj
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by sullivj on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 6:42 pm

Most people seem to agree the rear drum is better, albeit more difficult to remove the wheel.

I've not ridden a drum model, but find the rear disc MUCH better than my CBF600 rear, which has ABS and Combined Braking System, meaning feedback is about 2% at best!
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wornsprokets
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by wornsprokets on Fri 15 Jan 2016, 10:47 pm

I fiind  the cb rear brake not great, then again its on its original hose and disc a bit rusty, i find front brembo great and have fitted wezmoto braided front  line even better.. But i also find rear brake on my 96 blade not great also. I think  drum brakes are good also( on back) but there ugly as ....             theres a reason car manufactures were stil using them up to a while ago, comes down to cost. My uncle has an old race bike  (chasis ex gp from 60s ) with drums all round, he says it put you over bars no probs if you braked hard enough Very Happy
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rwhitton
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by rwhitton on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 10:27 am

I've had both, on a drum model at moment. I only race, no road riding on it. I don't use back brake ever but prefer the drum for quick wheel changes to wets or back to dries. I find it much easier and less fiddly, especially when rushing. The sliding, non fixed caliper was a right pain in the backside on the disc one I had.  Needed 2 pairs of hands!
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wornsprokets
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by wornsprokets on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 11:20 am

Yes its stupid rear caliper cant be bolted off ,what were they thinking, drum wins ther so for rapid tyre changes
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trevor machine
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by trevor machine on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 11:30 am

@rwhitton wrote:I've had both, on a drum model at moment. I only race, no road riding on it. I don't use back brake ever but prefer the drum for quick wheel changes to wets or back to dries. I find it much easier and less fiddly, especially when rushing. The sliding, non fixed caliper was a right pain in the backside on the disc one I had.  Needed 2 pairs of hands!

Interesting - and makes sense, of course. But out of interest, do you have a preference for either the brembo or the nissin calliper? Do the rules allow for different forks in the cb500 racing series, such that you can have forks suitable from the later bike using the brembo, but have the earlier swing arm allowing for drum at the rear? NB I'm assuming the forks *are* different and that you can't simply bolt one or the other callipers on. Not sure if this *is* the case.
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ashcroc
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by ashcroc on Sat 16 Jan 2016, 12:11 pm

fork externals are essentially the same for all models so callipers will be interchangeable.

Strangely I found the opposite between drum & disc rear. When I had my 96T I only ever used the rear for hill starts it was so bad & relied on engine braking to slow my back wheel down. The disc on both my 02's slowed the bike down noticeably.
New shoes may well have changed things but I never bothered to find out assuming it was just gonna be crap no matter what I tried.
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eternally_troubled
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by eternally_troubled on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 2:20 pm

I've never ridden a CB500 with a drum rear brake but I have ridden other bikes with drum brakes.

My CB500 has the brembo disc at the rear and I find it acceptable for what I need - being used for mainly for manoeuvres and to provide a little bit of braking while on the move. I have managed to lock up the rear when it is damp on the road but I haven't ever managed to do this when it is dry.

It's always been my thought that on bikes where the front brake is adequate (like the CB500 - either type) it is better if the rear isn't too good as it makes it too easy to lock it up, so to me, the disc on the rear of the CB500 is fine.

I can quite imagine that a well-adjusted drum could work better than the disc - it's purely a matter of mechanical advantage gained through leverage vs. mechanical advantage gained through hydraulics. The drum also has the advantage of not being contaminated by oil from the chain and grot from the road.

I'd certainly agree that the caliper mounting mechanism (that slot in the swingarm) is really annoying when putting it all back together...
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trevor machine
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by trevor machine on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 6:32 pm

@eternally_troubled wrote:  I have managed to lock up the rear when it is damp on the road but I haven't ever managed to do this when it is dry.

It's always been my thought that on bikes where the front brake is adequate (like the CB500 - either type) it is better if the rear isn't too good as it makes it too easy to lock it up, so to me, the disc on the rear of the CB500 is fine.





Yes! Exactly - that first comment is what made me start this thread. I was using the rear (disc) brake and thinking wow hang on, nothing's happening. Wtf. Of course, something WAS happening - just not as much as on the drum bike. So then I started experimenting a bit more and was really struggling to lock it up. Well in fact I basically couldn't. Which shocked me, tbh. After getting so used to the drum bike - which is comparatively easy to lock up - I'd forgotten all about the extent to which the rear disc worked.

As for you second comment, that hadn't occurred to me and so now I'm wondering. And recalling an observed IAM ride from back in the summer where I was piling out of tadcaster on the way up to towton. I seen a quarter/half mile ahead some temporary lights and thought I'd got the sequencing sussed so was all set to chug through at 50-60. But they were apparently sensor lights and "saw" no cars and thus changed. I went through on a really late amber and should've just carried on, of course - but being observed (by ex-coppers especially) can sometimes do funny things to your brain. So I chucked the anchors over - and promptly locked the rear drum up. Skidded for a good 10-15 yards (should've given it more front, for one thing). The smell of burned rubber was pretty strong after that. Very embarrassing all round. However, the guy did say yeah that kind of sucked but to be fair, the bike went straight all the way. Never felt like tipping either left or right. In the debrief we talked a bit about ABS. Laughing

Anyway yeah - I get what you mean. Makes sense. Can't decide if I totally agree though. To be able to lock it up is kind of a nice bit of power to have - I suppose the trick is to not overuse it like I did. And finding the necessary restraint in a moment of imminent danger is never going to be easy.
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rwhitton
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by rwhitton on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 7:36 pm

@trevor machine wrote:

@rwhitton wrote:I've had both, on a drum model at moment. I only race, no road riding on it. I don't use back brake ever but prefer the drum for quick wheel changes to wets or back to dries. I find it much easier and less fiddly, especially when rushing. The sliding, non fixed caliper was a right pain in the backside on the disc one I had.  Needed 2 pairs of hands!



Interesting - and makes sense, of course. But out of interest, do you have a preference for either the brembo or the nissin calliper? Do the rules allow for different forks in the cb500 racing series, such that you can have forks suitable from the later bike using the brembo, but have the earlier swing arm allowing for drum at the rear? NB I'm assuming the forks *are* different and that you can't simply bolt one or the other callipers on. Not sure if this *is* the case.
You can use any combination of forks, master cylinder, caliper you like providing it's original fitment on a cb .  Obviously no cbf parts can be used. I've preferred the nissin front brake actually. Used dp race pads on both which are excellent but not recommended for road use. 
I think quite a few use a combination of nissin and brembo, not sure which way around. Most people also remove the outer dust seals on the caliper to reduce binding and overheating /warping the disc which can be a common problem racing cb's.
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trevor machine
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by trevor machine on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 5:49 am

Interesting. Thanks man.

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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by Guest on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 2:01 pm

Mine is an early 1994. The drum brake is perfect for manoeuvring and I'm using it a lot when going slow in town as well. I fact I'm learning to use the front brake more often when going slow, I've a habit of going for the rear cause it's so easy and very responsive at slow velocity. Will change brake shoes soon so then will see how much they've actually worn my abuse... Wink
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trevor machine
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Re: age old debate resurrected - disc vs. drum

Post by trevor machine on Mon 18 Jan 2016, 4:59 pm

Probably not as worn as you think - there's a lot of meat on them and they tend not to wear too much on the slow stuff, cos they don't get as hot.

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